Hunt for Letters
Play the Letter Hunt game with your child as you drive home from school, look at books, or grocery shop. Look around for letters. Point out letters that are important to him (letters in his name, favorite words). Ask your child to name the letter. Your child will start to recognize letters when he sees them. Recognizing the letters of the alphabet will help him has he begins to read and write.
Play 'I Spy'
Play 'I Spy' with your child. Look for colors, shapes, letters, or familiar signs. For example, you could say ”I spy something that begins with the letter ‘S.’” , or “I spy something blue.” Ask her to look around and try to guess what you were describing. Take turns and let her choose the next item.
Playing "I Spy" will help your child:
- Recognize objects in her environment
- Learn new words to describe objects
Make up rhymes about the things you see at home or as you go about your daily routine. “I see a big pig.” “You have a red bed.” Ask your child to name some rhyming words. It’s okay to make up your own words.
Finding words that rhyme helps your child:
- Recognize the different sounds in words
- Build listening skills
Sing Songs Together
Sing songs throughout the day with your child. They can be familiar songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” or a song you made up. Singing songs helps children hear the rhythm in words.
Try new ways to sing songs by adding movement and making up new words.
Talk About What You See
When you and your child are out in the community, talk about what you see. Your child will learn new words when you talk to him about what you see. When words are connected to real things that are happening it is easier for him to understand them.
Some things that you might say include:
- “Look, there is the store where we go to get food.”
- “Look at the man with the sign. What do you think he is doing?”
Take a walk around your house or neighborhood and ask your child to find objects as you go. First, have your child find one of something. Have her continue on, finding two objects that are the same. Keep going until you find 10 objects that are the same. You can also collect items for your child to count such as bottle caps, plastic lids, or small toys.
When you count with your child, she is learning:
- That a number represents a specific number of objects
- The order of numbers
Make a Sorting Game
Use a variety of objects to make a sorting game. Collect items around the house (plastic bottles, old buttons, jars, lids, toys) and ask your child to sort them.
Ask him to sort the items by color, shape and size.
Play Board Games
Playing simple board games is a great way to practice counting skills. It also helps your child learn how to take turns. Find games that are recommended for preschool ages and play them together. Some suggestions for board games include:
- Chutes and Ladders
Have Fun with Textures
Children like to feel things that have texture. Cut letters, shapes, or numbers out of a textured material, such as sandpaper, bubble wrap, or felt. Let you child run his fingers over the object, saying the name of the letter, shape, or number as he touches them. Glue the objects on to cardboard and keep them out where he can play with them.
Touching the objects will help your child:
- Recognize the letter, number or shape
- Explore the way different objects feel
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